Ministers Discuss Africa’s Youth

African Ministers of Education and ICT recently met to discuss “Youth, Innovation and the Development of Talent” on the continent. Soon, the majority of Africa’s population will be under 25 years of age, posing both a challenge and opportunity for the continent.

One of the participating ministers said, “We have to invest in the future and the future is in the hands of our youth. Investing in innovation and skills for youth people will not only help to narrow the skills gap, but also to boost job creation and create a breeding ground for the development of the private sector.”

With proper political action and investment, Africa could soon “become a global centre for manufacturing, ICT and service industries. This will take greater effort than simply including computers in classrooms, but will require that ICT become embedded in the educational system.

The following “priority areas for investment” emerged from the meeting:

  • science and technology;
  • educational quality;
  • teacher training and delivery of education;
  • “equipping education systems, from primary level onwards, for ICT;”
  • “bridging the digital divide;”
  • improving connectivity;
  • providing quality content;
  • novel e-learning strategies;
  • focus on rural areas;
  • emphasis on skills needed for industry work; and
  • training in “soft skills.”

By focusing on these areas, ministers can help ensure that Africa becomes an ICT hotspot and help strengthen democracy in its countries for the young generation.

Source: Emma Onyango, PC Tech Magazine